posted on Mar, 23 2012 @ 01:29 AM
based on a thread by Itop1, entitled "make each day count," where s/he talked about skills learned from parents
A friend of mine often says that in previous generations, families were "tight"--the family members trusted and relied on each other. He claims
that the reason for this is that until WWI, families ran family businesses together. Whether it was a family farm, or a family store, all members
participating in creating wealth together, and this brought them closer together over time. If they were ever going to strike it rich, it
would be as a family, not as lone individuals.
But the modern family has two earners who leave the house in different directions for different jobs. The children have no jobs at all. They work
separately, learn separately, eat separately, entertain themselves separately, and then move apart as the years pass.
I think I have found an antidote to all this:
Teach your children survival skills.
The act of producing brings people together. Whether it means producing food from your own garden, cooking together, or building a boat as a family
project, the act of building together creates the bonds that last a lifetime.
An act as simple as learning the canning of summer vegetables gets the kids out of the house and learning. They learn about soil types and predation,
photosynthesis and symbiosis, and that coffee grounds make the best compost.
Baking your own bread or raising your own chickens means cooperating and sharing effort and outcomes. It also brings a sense of accomplishment---the
only valid source of self-esteem. The self-esteem gained in the company of the family reinforces the sense of group identity and trust you'd need if
you actually had to survive together.
Programs like Scouting and 4H are a great launching pad for these sorts of activities. But even something as basic changing the oil in the family
vehicles, or as complex as spending a summer together on Grandad's farm, teach the skills that actually hold families together.
Especially if children come from different parents, a group activity like berry-picking or nut-gathering can be the way we find our place in a blended